I started the year feeling reflective, but also excited to see what 2022 brings for my life and my little business. January is always an important month for me, as it marks the anniversary of when I took the plunge to become a full artist.
Six years ago, we left the UK and flew to Panama City. We had no real plan, other than we knew we were flying home from San Francisco on the 28th June.
We travelled by public transport across 10 different countries, saw some amazing landscapes, wildlife and ancient monuments; met some great people and ate some ok food (Central America isn’t famed for its food – although the pupusas in El Salvador were an exception).
While we were there, I kept 2 sketchbooks on the go. One was for documenting everything in insane amounts of detail. I drew where we stayed, how we got there, what we ate and how much we were spending.
The second was my ‘nice’ sketchbook, in which I created ‘proper’ drawings. Some of these, such as ‘Havana’, Yosemite and ‘Whale’, are still available on my website.
I also collected something small from every place I visited, which I later curated into my first large memory box. It housed beer caps and a coin from every country; miniature paintings from Nicaragua; traditional weaving from Guatemala; animal sculptures of all the wildlife we saw in Costa Rica; a candle from where we stayed deep in the Honduran rainforest (with no electricity!); day of the dead memorabilia and Aztec replicas from Mexico; Cuban cigars; a model of an old school bus from Belize (as that was how we mostly travelled); coffee beans from El Salvador and a mini Panama hat from…Panama. You can see the box in full here.
When I got back, there was no doubt in my mind. I didn’t want to go back into architecture full time, so booked myself into a couple of markets, got a part time architecture job and put my energy into growing the art business that I love and I’m so proud of.
If you’re curious, you can read more about my career journey in a Western Mail article here.
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I’m an artist who creates beautiful memory boxes and intricate ink drawings to help you connect with the people and places you love.